Vietnamese Refugees’ Perspectives on their Community’s Resilience in the Event of a Natural Disaster

November 2014 (VOL. 32, NO. 3)

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Researchers have urged that community resilience be integrated in preparing for public emergencies to improve individuals’ resilience. This study explored Vietnamese refugees’ shared perspectives on their community resilience in the face of a natural disaster and factors that either facilitated or impeded their community resilience. Using ethnographic approach, 20 ethnic Vietnamese and Montagnard adult refugees living in North Carolina were interviewed, using a semi-structured interview guide. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) Greensboro is a good place to live, with many resources to draw on during a natural disaster; (2) The City can be trusted to respond effectively during a natural disaster especially because of the city government; and (3) The refugee community will face significant challenges. Future efforts should be directed to developing effective channels for refugees to access information, make connections with existing community resources, and facilitate collaboration among multiethnic groups when encountering a natural disaster.